To diagnose osteoporosis we use something called a DEXA scan. This stands for Dual Energy x-ray absorptiometry. This is a very low dose of radiation- no more than the background radiation in the world round us. It is a quick and non- invasive scan taking around 10 minutes and does not involve going into an enclosed tunnel.
It measures how much of the radiation the bone absorbs and thus gives a reading of how dense the bone is, looking particularly at the spine and the hip.
Currently only those at the highest risk of osteoporosis can be referred for a DEXA scan on the NHS.
If you think you may have risk factors that could affect you bone density then speak to a healthcare professional about a DEXA scan.